Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Skin Cancer Mole Screenings: 4 Tips For Self Checkups

Health & Medical Blog

Moles are areas of hyperpigmentation on the body. The problem with moles is well known – they can develop into cancerous growths. Just about everyone has freckles or moles, and not all moles are a cause for concern. The following guide can help you keep a watchful eye on any moles you may have so that you know when it is time to visit your doctor for a more thorough checkup.

Tip #1: Set a Regular Schedule

Regular checks are the best way to catch any problems early. How often you check is up to you. Generally, if you aren't at high risk for skin cancer, checking every few months is sufficient. Those at high risk should check more often, perhaps once a month or at intervals recommended by your doctor. High risk factors include a previous history of skin cancer, cancer, or precancerous growth, or a family history of skin cancer.

Tip #2: Perform All Over Inspections

The moles and freckles you see every day are by far the easiest to inspect on your own. Those on your back and neck are obviously the most difficult. You can arrange mirrors to view these areas better, or you can enlist a buddy to help you inspect hard to see areas. Don't skip your back just because you don't think you have any moles there – you need to still include it in case any new moles, freckles, or growths appear.

Tip #3: Create a Record

Sometimes you may not notice a change in a mole, especially if it happens slowly. One way to counteract this is to keep a record. You can do this with technology by simply snapping a picture of the mole and comparing it to the next picture after each inspection. Another option is to record the details of major moles in a health journal – size, color, and whether it is raised or flat, for example.

Tip #4: Know the Warning Signs

Any change in a mole or freckle is cause for alarm. The formation of new moles also warrants a doctor's appointment. The following are other warning signs to be aware of:

  • Irregular or uneven edges on a mole.
  • Drastic change in size or color.
  • Itchy or painful moles, or moles that bleed easily.
  • Moles that become raised or bumpy.
  • The development of pink or red pigmentation in formerly brown or dark colored moles.

If you find the above, contact a dermatologist or doctor like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists right away to have a full screening of your moles and skin. Mole removal may be necessary to avoid further problems.


29 October 2015